I have two things that I am very proud of in my life, first are my two children, and second is my small business, Inner Fire Yoga. What fuels the fire at Inner Fire Yoga is partly the reality of my children in my life.
I love yoga. I love to study and learn yoga. I love to practice yoga. I love to teach yoga. Being a mother is my hardest yoga. Taking a yoga class is my easiest yoga. Both of these I intensely cherish.
I was introduced to yoga in 1993. I became a yoga instructor in 1997. I have been teaching regularly ever since. I had my son in 2000, having happily practiced Hot Yoga throughout my pregnancy. I opened my first yoga studio in 2002 in Madison. This was risky and scary for me as a newly single mother, plus having just moved to Madison from San Francisco. But it was empowering and wonderful – a big success! I began offering a wider variety of yoga classes at my studio in 2004, including Power Flow Yoga and Yin Yoga. I adopted my daughter from Ethiopia in Dec. 2005. The year following was a difficult one for me – struggling between single motherhood of a newly adopted baby and keeping my passion about my business (and keeping it afloat).
A big corner was turned when I began to work with Alon Sagee, the Yoga Business Coach in Nov. 2006. With his guidance, my business transformed in every way: new energy, focus, vision, name, tag line, mission, values, brand, website, marketing materials, business plan, and not least – a custom designed, all green, expanded facility that is beautiful and luxurious. What I love best about our new studio is the true sense of community and sanctuary: real, wonderful, healthy communing of like-minded lovely people is happening every day at Inner Fire Yoga!
I am grateful to everyone who contributed in any way to the creation of Inner Fire Yoga including my teachers, advisors (many), the patrons/students, the instructors, my manager and the staff. Inner Fire Yoga is truly a dream come true to me, and a sanctuary of yoga for many. We strive to bring peace to the world – a big mission – and I truly believe we can do it one Inner-Fire-Yogi at a time!
“Thanks – as always – for class last night. I came in with a bunch of anxiety and left as a sort of peaceful jell-o. Your encouragement and compassion are important to so many people.
There’s a saying in marathon running: “God gave us legs to run 20 miles, then gave us a 26.2-mile race!” It’s an incredible truth: I’ve run five marathons now, and the same phenomenon has happened every time. After about 20 miles, the legs are spent and everything is hurting, and for me all time stands still. What happens next is either immense presence, or infinity – which I’ve come to understand are one in the same – and a fantastic opportunity to transcend time and bodily pain in favor of an inward journey. Just as you said last night, it all comes down to deciding to stick with it: for 60 seconds or for 60 minutes – just one instant into another. I’ve evolved emotionally over the past few years as I’ve become a runner. This past October I ran the Athens Marathon – the 2,500th anniversary of the ‘original’ marathon – and found that I was able to focus in to an incredible, timeless place, where time and pain seemed to vanish and the present moments became evident. I went on that pilgrimage thinking that perhaps I would be able to somehow connect to that first run so long ago, and discovered that it wasn’t about something in the past – but something entirely relevant to the exact present. (Here’s a link to my race report)
I give credit to your guidance and my practice at Inner Fire for being the single most critical and essential part of all my training for running, triathlon – even the Ironman. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’ve signed up for my second Ironman – here in Madison this fall! What I think will be the most important part of my training – just as we develop in class – will be to set aside preconceptions, inflated egos, and past experiences to approach the race with a joyful and open beginner’s mind. Thanks so much for giving me a place to build the foundations for an entirely new and improved life.”
“Just a quick note to compliment you on the quality of the yoga studio you have built and seem to still be building. I love what you have built. I have been a member for only a couple of years and I am limited in how often I can make it in due to my work schedule. Iwant to thank you as well for the ‘assist’ you gave me during a recent class. It felt great to be able to twist just that little bit further. Feel free to do that again, it will help me get to the next level and I know my back and hips are the tightest and need the most work.”
“I did a class there for the first time in a long time and man, was I blown away. There were like 70 people in one class! Everything looks so nice- your retail area, the new space in the locker room, your website. I guess I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that things are going so well for you business-wise. It’s really impressive. I know you work hard and it’s cool to have watched things grow and change over the last couple years. I also did your $50 matched donation to Haiti and I’m really touched by your generosity. It’s cool to know someone who is using her skills to create what she wanted to create and is succeeding at it.. You go!”
“In the past I have attended yoga classes at other places but never really felt that pull to keep practicing in the way that I do when I attend classes at Inner Fire. I think the heated/hot classes, the quality of instructors and the quality of the facility contribute to me coming back. So, thank you very much for what you have done to create Inner Fire.”